10 Things You Can Do
- Save Energy
• Sonoma County Energy Independence (SCEIP) offers financing for energy, water and renewable projects.
• Energy Upgrade California offers rebates up to $4,000 for various energy efficiency measures.
- Take it from the Tap
• Residents of Santa Rosa are fortunate to have a source of very high quality drinking water. (See the City's water quality report)
• Polycarbonate plastic used in plastic bottles leach bisphenol-A, which is linked to birth defects, miscarriage, and prostate cancer.
• Plastic water bottles require 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to make.
• Learn more about taking it from the tap.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
• Producing new paper, glass, and metal products from recycled materials saves 70 to 90 percent of the energy and pollution, including CO2, that would result if the product came from virgin materials. Recycling a stack of newspapers only 4 feet high will save a good-sized tree.
• Remember that while recycling is good, never generating waste is better.
- Use Water Efficiently
• Install low flow fixtures (i.e. toilets, faucets, and showerheads).
• Save water in your garden.
• Check for leaks.
• Contact the City's Water Use Efficiency team for your FREE indoor and outdoor water audit. 707-543-3985.
- Bring Your Own Bag
• Every year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are distributed, and less than 3% of those bags are recycled. They are typically made of polyethylene and can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in landfills that emit harmful greenhouse gases.
• Some places charge for plastic bags in the grocery store.
- Buy Locally Grown and Made Items
• Buy locally grown foods from a farmers market.
• Buy locally made items.
• Compost your veggies by placing them in your green waste bin. More info here.
• Compost at home for use in your own garden.
- Know your Ecological Footprint
• An ecological footprint quiz estimates how much productive land and water you need to support what you use and what you discard. Find out your ecological footprint and ways to reduce your impact at http://www.earthday.net/footprint.
- Offset your Carbon Emissions
• TerraPass - supports wind and biomass projects (turning methane from cows and landfills into energy).
• Native Energy - supports Native American alternative-energy projects.
• Carbon Fund - non-profit offsetter that supports solar and wind farms, promotes cleaner industry, and plants trees around the world.
- Reduce Car Trips
• Leave your car at home. If you can stay off the road just two days a week, you'll reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,590 pounds per year [Source: EPA].
Combine your errands -- hit the post office, grocery store and shoe repair place in one trip. It will save you gas and time.
• Walk or ride your bike to work, school and anywhere you can. You can reduce greenhouse gases while burning some calories and improving your health. If you can't walk or bike, use mass transit or carpool. Every car not on the road makes a difference.
• Have your employer join the City of Santa Rosa FreeRide Program to win prizes for carpooling.